How to Change the Purchase Settings on an iPad

by David Weedmark
Disabling in-app purchases can prevent children from accidentally charging your account.

Disabling in-app purchases can prevent children from accidentally charging your account.

There are three ways of purchasing content on an Apple iPad: from the App Store, from iTunes and directly from some apps using in-app purchases. The iPad includes many options for controlling your purchase settings. Most purchase settings are found on the Restrictions screen. Here, you can turn off the ability to make purchases from any of these three sources, or restrict available content based on age settings. If you have have purchased Newsstand subscriptions, managing these is done from your account, which can be accessed from the App Store.

Enabling Purchase Restrictions

Tap the "Settings" icon and select "General." Scroll down and tap "Restrictions." Note that the restriction options are grayed out until you have enabled this feature.

Tap "Enable Restrictions." The Set Passcode page opens with a keypad, similar to the keypad on a phone or ATM machine. Tap a 4-digit code on the keypad. Make sure it's a number you will remember later. You can use the numbers below each letter to help you remember your code. For example, "STOP" would be "7867." Tap the code a second time to return to the Restrictions screen. All of the options are now available.

Tap the "In-App Purchases" toggle to change it from "On" to "Off." All in-app purchases will now be blocked on the iPad.

Tap the "Require Password" option and select "Immediate" to have the iPad request a password every time a purchase is attempted. The default setting stores your Apple ID password for 15 minutes, meaning you can make as many purchases as you want for 15 minutes after entering your password once.

Tap the "Installing Apps" toggle to turn it from "On" to "Off." This removes the App Store icon from the iPad Home screen, making it impossible to install new apps.

Tap the "iTunes" toggle to turn it off. This removes the iTunes icon from the Home screen, making it impossible to purchase songs or videos.

Tap "Music & Podcasts" and then tap the "Explicit" toggle to turn it off. Music, videos and podcasts containing explicit content will no longer be displayed on the iPad or available from iTunes.

Tap "Movies" to select allowed movie ratings, such as "G" and "PG." Movies with all other ratings will be disabled on the iPad and will be unavailable for download from iTunes. You can also select "Don't Allow Movies" from this menu. By default, the iPad uses the "Allow All Movies" setting. Tap "TV Shows" in the Restrictions screen to similarly filter available TV shows from iTunes.

Tap the "Apps" option to restrict the apps available for purchase and download from the App Store to age-appropriate content. Select "4+," "9+," "12+" or "17+" as desired. Any installed apps outside of your selected age range will disappear from the Home screen until you change this setting.

Changing Subscription Settings

Tap the "App Store" icon on the iPad Home screen. Tap "Featured" at the bottom of the App Store page.

Scroll to the bottom of the Featured page and tap the "Apple ID" icon. If you are not signed in with your Apple ID, tap the "Sign In" icon and then sign in with your Apple ID email and password. Once signed in, you can then return to the Featured Page to tap the "Apple ID" icon.

Tap "View Apple ID." Enter your password when prompted and tap "OK" to go to the main account page. Scroll down and tap "Manage App Subscriptions."

Tap a subscription to view the current price and subscription period. Change the subscription period as desired using the available options. For example, you may be able to change it from a weekly subscription to an annual subscription, however this varies for each publication.

Tap the "Auto-Renewal" toggle to turn it from "On" to "Off." Your subscription will expire at the end of your current subscription period.

Photo Credits

  • Christopher Furlong/Getty Images News/Getty Images